ROUGH IS NOT DIRTY
Canada may have lost more than a hockey game when its team lost to Sweden in the world hockey championships at Colorado Springs. The favored Canadians play rough hockey, something the Swedes knew full well and for which they were prepared. What the Swedes were not prepared for were tactics that go much too far beyond rough play.
Focal point of the postchampionship controversy came when Canadian Wing Floyd Martin missed a goal at close range. According to Martin, his bad luck prompted Swedish defenseman Bert-Ola Norlander to snicker. Responding to the insult, Martin jammed the butt end of his stick into the Swede's belly. Norlander reacted quite normally. He dropped to the ice in agony. The result was, naturally, a brawl.
Such hockey is tolerated in the National Hockey League. Fans expect it, even look forward to it. But professional hockey must not be confused with other forms of athletics, especially amateur athletics (interestingly, the Canadian team included the "re-amateurized" ex-Black Hawk, Tod Sloan). If Canada is to compete internationally in amateur hockey its players should be trained in the etiquette of amateur sports.
March 26, 1962
Granted that a "ha-ha" at a crucial moment can be infuriating, we doubt it warrants a poke in the belly with a hockey stick. Neither do we think much of Canadian Coach Lloyd Roubell's answer to a formal complaint: "Ice hockey is for men, not boys. They [the Swedes] are pantywaists, crybabies and actors."
Good hockey players, though.
FROM FENWAY PARK
Part of the fun of baseball this summer will be listening to American League baseball announcers in Cleveland, the Twin Cities and Kansas City to see if they lapse into a Boston accent. The 1962 American League Red Book, final authority of the sports announcer on many aspects of the game, including pronunciation of the players' names, was prepared by Joseph W. McKenney, the league's publicity director and a Bostonian, who, naturally, is as confused about the letter r as a cockney is about the letter h. So, in Joe McKenney's lexicon, sports announcers are advised that this is how to pronounce the following names:
Tracy Stallard (Red Sox)—STAL-ad.
Joel Edward Horlen (White Sox)—HAW-len.
Franklin Kreutzer (White Sox)—KROIT-zah.
Daniel Albin Pfister (Athletics)—FIST-ah.
THE GUILTY MEN AGAIN
Colorado Football Coach Sonny Grandelius has been fired by the state Board of Regents on allegations of "deceptive and dishonest practices" for which the Regents hold him responsible. Whenever such practices are uncovered, we are in favor of the kind of action the Regents have taken. However, as the Regents also point out, "These violations...began soon after [Grandelius'] arrival on campus." Grandelius came to Colorado in February 1959. The responsibility for his conduct of office, from that date, rested with the university administration. Those men—we have called other college officials "The Guilty Men" in similar circumstances—should either have kept Grandelius in line or, if the charges are true, should have fired him a long time ago.
RISE OF THE 'OT ROD
The thing in England this season is the jazzed-up family saloon, which is not to be confused with the old reliable family pub, an institution incapable of jazz. What the British are doing is hotting up the family car. At the moment some 36 British firms are in the business of converting standard cars into hot rods.
Britishers are queuing up in astonishing numbers for three main stages of conversion. For ¬£25 ($70), a performance increase of between 10% and 15% is guaranteed. At a bit more than twice that sum the Gran Turismo stage can be achieved, with the engine tweaked up about 35%. Competition level is reached at a cost of ¬£125 ($350), which invests the Sunday driver with the kind of performance needed for club racing.
The market for these conversions is such that one big manufacturer sells a kit with which the do-it-himselfer can jolly well convert on his own. The objective is not so much a higher top speed as improved torque and more vivid acceleration. It's all done by improving the efficiency of inlet and exhaust tracts, increasing valve lift and valve opening periods, raising the compression ratio and supercharging.
What the converter gets for his pounds is an occasional glorious moment, e.g., when he whips around a Rolls with a satisfying snarl. He also gets increased fuel consumption, decreased life of tires, transmission and brakes, higher insurance premiums, an invalid manufacturer's warranty immediately after conversion and a reduced resale value. But what are these minor disadvantages to a happy hot rodder?
AID FOR OLD BALDY
The alarming numerical decline of our national bird, the bald eagle, down to a mere 5,000 in the U.S., has won the sympathetic attention of President Kennedy ("...we have failed a trust if we permit the eagle to disappear") and, perhaps even more appropriately, of the Fraternal Order of Eagles.
When the National Audubon Society began costly biological research to learn the ways of the bald eagle—his range, nesting and eating habits and, most important, what ails him—it didn't have too much money for the job. Now to the fiscal rescue of the Audubons have come the fraternal Eagles, all 825,000 of them, but most especially that distinguished, barren-pated segment of the club known as the Bald Eagles. Last week in Seattle, where the order's Aerie Number One was founded in 1898, the Eagles Club loaded plates with smorgasbord and admitted the general, eagle-loving public at a price, proceeds to go to preservation of the totem. The Bald Eagles, a club within the club, have established themselves as a working committee to extend the fund-raising nationwide. Objective: $50,000, which is a lot of bird seed.
It is a splendid idea and we wonder why it should not be extended to other areas. What, for instance, are the Elks doing for elks, the Moose for moose, the Lions for lions, the Owls for owls? What, indeed, did the Imperial Order of the Dragon ever do for its regrettably extinct symbol?
THE INSIDE TRACK
•Swedish national hockey team goalie Lennart Haggroth will be invited to the Boston Bruins' training camp in September. The U.S. goalie, Mike Larson, has been placed on the Bruins' negotiations list but, because he is a student at the University of Minnesota, probably won't be invited to the Boston camp.
•Army Football Coach Paul Dietzel's plans for a stepped-up recruiting program include a more representative, wide-ranging schedule that will take Army around the country. Dietzel wants more high school players to get a look at Army teams because, he believes, too many of them don't know what West Point is, let alone that they play football there.
•Raleigh's Dixie Basketball Classic, canceled this season after game-rigging scandals hit the Atlantic Coast Conference, will definitely be resumed, perhaps next season. Officials point out that the tournament itself was not responsible for basketball gambling.
LET THE TWAIN MEET
When two fighters who would make a good match avoid each other there is the NBA to pay. But when the same situation occurs in distance running no one seems to mind too much. At the Los Angeles Times indoor meet last month two of the world's fastest milers, world-record holder Peter Snell of New Zealand and Jim Beatty of the U.S., ran in different events. In a race that was scarcely competitive, Snell set an indoor record in the 1,000-yard run and Beatty won by 75 yards in indoor track's first sub-4-minute mile. Now it seems that at the Coliseum Relays in Los Angeles on May 18 we are to be treated to a program in which Beatty will drop down to the half-mile while Snell goes up to the mile.
All of this gives the impression that the boys are avoiding each other, but one must suspect that it is not so much the boys as their coaches who are responsible. Coach Arthur Lydiard, asked why he was ducking memo a mono competition with Beatty last month, sniffed that "Snell's program calls for no miles just now." Coach Mihaly Igloi, asked much the same question about the Coliseum meet in May, replied that "My plans for him are to run his first hard mile at Modesto on May 26."
When it is convenient, the coaches tend to argue that their athlete's training program is inviolable, not to be altered by a yard. Still, a month ago we saw Snell drop everything to run a sub-4-minute mile as a favor to hometown friends (SI, March 5); and two weeks ago Beatty ran a sub-4 mile in Chicago one night, then did a fast 1,000 yards in Milwaukee the next.
It begins to appear that Snell and Beatty will not meet until the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo. Isn't it time that Igloi and Lydiard dropped the training schedule pretense and let their runners meet in the mile, which is where each of them belongs?
LOVE WITHOUT SUFFOCATION
A gentle book called Stories From Under the Sky (Iowa State University Press, $3.95) just came out, written by a gentle man named John Madson, who likes the outdoors. Likes, as compared to loves, that is. Too many people, says Madson, love the outdoors with a kind of suffocating love that is both presumptuous and boring. Madson cannot endure these people: to him Thoreau is "the Spartan Scoutmaster of Walden Pond." Thoreau's disciples he calls "suburban transcendentalists, who must rationalize a Sunday morning picnic as worship in the Great Green Church."
Madson understands the outdoors, and his credentials as a Liker are impressive. As a boy on the upper Mississippi he earned his first nickels and dimes selling wild honey and muskrat pelts. Today he makes money by working five months of the year on a game preserve, the rest of the time writing. He practices both trades with skill.
Madson's book is a ramble through the willows of the Mississippi. There is a fascinating chapter on the fresh-water pearls that Mississippi clam diggers used to sell for upwards of $1,000. There is another on a large and vicious species of river fish called, oddly, the John A. Grindle. Madson talks for one short chapter about knives—hunting knives and what a knife should be. He is an unpretentious expert on and admirer of the odd little multibreed hunting mutt called the feist.
Finally, he is a student of that specialized form of literature found only in small outdoor-equipment catalogues, and he gives his favorite sample:
"Users of our Surescratch Watertight Matchbox include Old Woodsmen and Others. These Matchboxes have saved countless lives in the Cruel North and our president, Mr. J. L. Custard, would not set foot from his office without one. Knurled for a sure grip with frozen hands, the seamless Surescratch is made special for us by the nation's foremost maker of Watertight Matchboxes. By comparison, our competitors offer only Trash Matchboxes. $0.98, plus freight."
What real sportsman, asks Madson, could resist that? We feel very much the same way about his book.
THEY SAID IT
•Coe College Publicity Director Walker Rumble summing up the swimming team's first intercollegiate season: "At least nobody drowned."
•Oklahoma City University Basketball Coach Abe Lemons complaining that he had a disappointing season: "I wasn't hanged in effigy, I don't think the officials robbed me of a game and I wasn't even approached by gamblers."
•Former Notre Dame Football Coach Frank Leahy discussing Joe Kuharich's lack of success with Irish teams in recent years: "I don't think Kuharich would take advice if Rockne himself leaned down from heaven to give it."
•University of Texas Football Coach Darrell Royal when asked if the Longhorns' Cotton Bowl victory over Mississippi might provoke complacency this year: "All the boys who could be complacent are gone. Next fall's team hasn't won a game."